Ventriloquist Canfield Smith’s Frank Marshall Figure

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Someone sent in an email and asked about the ventriloquist Canfield Smith. Back in September 2008, I did a blog about him along with the Frank Marshall ventriloquist figure that is now in the Ventriloquist Central Collection.

Since it’s been over 6 years since that blog was published, I thought it might be a good reminder for some, new to others.

Canfield Smith was a performer in the late 1940’s and 1950’s and was what Stanley Burns labeled as a “Cod Performer” and that is a performer that was a comedian who discovered that mis copy-ing can be lucrative.

Canfield Smith made audiences laugh with his standard figure whose arm would drop off in the middle of a routine, with Smith seemingly indifferent to his companion’s plight.

The dummy finally complained, “Hey! Canfield….There’s a draft in here. Is there a carpenter in the house?” Canfield played the Palace as well as club dates after vaudeville.

This figure you are looking at was signed inside on the back of the mouth palate made by Frank Marshall for Canfield Smith Phila. Frank also signed it in 3 other places and it also has his card pasted inside too.

When I acquired this figure is was in dire need of restoration and it had been severely abused but after a superb job he now is a wonderful example of Franks early 1950’s work.

This figure has side to side self centering eyes, his right eye winks and of course slot jaw. A very fine figure that once belonged to a Pennsylvania performer.

Click Here to see Frank Marshall Ventriloquist Figure



Have you seen the Frank Marshall Tribute DVD, click here


Ventriloquist Central is the brainchild of Dan Willinger and Steve Hurst. Dan is a ventriloquism enthusiast and ventriloquist figure collector. He has been collecting for over 25 years. He created the Ventriloquist Central Collection. It now has over 100 ventriloquist figures and over 50 of them are Frank Marshall figures. Steve is a ventriloquist as well as builder of ventriloquist figures. He also has a background in sales, marketing, building websites and computers. Because they both love the art of ventriloquism, the website Ventriloquist Central was born. For more information about the website, go to:

Copyright 2015 by Dan Willinger and Steve Hurst

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One Response to Ventriloquist Canfield Smith’s Frank Marshall Figure

  1. P. Grecian says:

    “Cod act” comes from British variety originally. Yep. Means a put-on…an intentionally bad performer. The arm falling off is a great example!

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